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Canvas Help for Faculty



Canvas sites for official catalog courses are created automatically when released by the Registrar’s Office.  An announcement will be made on the Canvas gateway page when they become available.  Once created, you will see the sites on your Canvas Dashboard and in your Courses list.  Please confirm your Canvas course sites before the start of each term and verify you have sites for all courses you are assigned to teach.  If you do not see a course site, please check with your department scheduler to check official scheduling information.

If you are transitioning to teaching online and want to learn about best practices in online teaching, consider participating in Delivering Learning Experiences Online (DLEO), a self-paced online course with optional instructional designer facilitation.  Learn more and register.

Also you can review any of the workshop sessions on Canvas, Zoom, and UDCapture (My Media and Media Gallery) found on the Tools for Remote Teaching webpage.


Here you will find everything you need to learn how to use Canvas and to set up your new Canvas course site.






We offer workshops and personal consultations to help faculty learn how to use Canvas, to set up a basic Canvas course, or to master advanced Canvas topics.

We offer Canvas workshops focused on the basics, advanced topics, grading, collaboration, and UD CaptureSpace. Upcoming workshops and events are displayed in the calendar to the right.  Select a workshop to find details or to register or view all workshop descriptions on the Workshops page.

If you do not see a workshop for a topic, please send us a suggestion at

You can also schedule an individual consultation with an instructional designer to help get started with Canvas, review an existing course, or learn about Canvas tools.   Consultations can be held in the Faculty Commons (Pearson 116), in your office, or virtually.  You can also request a department consultation if you have several members of your department who have questions about Canvas.


Can anyone log in to Canvas?

In general yes, anyone can log in using their UDelNet ID and password if teaching or taking a class that uses Canvas. Users will have access only to those course sites in which they are enrolled. 

How do I get a Canvas course?

Canvas sites for official catalog courses are created automatically when released by the Registrar’s Office.  An announcement will be made on the Canvas gateway page when they become available.  Once created, you will see the sites on your Canvas Dashboard and in your Courses list.  Please confirm your Canvas course sites before the start of each term and verify you have sites for all courses you are assigned to teach.  

If you do not see a site for a course you are teaching on your Dashboard, first check if the course is part of a multiple-section course site.  If not, verify that you are listed as instructor-of-record for the course.  Sometimes “Staff” is listed instead of your name.  If you are not, contact your Schedule of Classes (SOC), Departmental Contact.  Your departmental contact can update UDSIS. Information on Course Scheduling/SOC Instructions is provided by the Office of the University Registrar.  Finally, if you are the instructor-of-record in UDSIS and do not see the course, please email  Include in your message the course and  section you are teaching so that we can troubleshoot the problem.

If you need to request a course that is not an official catalog course, please submit your request using the Miscellaneous Site Request form.

Is there a start of term checklist?

Although each Canvas course is different, there are some basics things you should do when you create a new course.  If you have never used Canvas before, you might want to request a consultation to learn more about Canvas and how best to set up your course.  Use this checklist to make sure that your Canvas courses are ready!

Step 1:  Add and Organize Content
Add your course content or copy content from an existing Canvas course.  Choose how you would like your students to navigate the course.  You might organize files into folders, create pages, and/or group materials into modules that suit your course.  Check the accessibility of your content.  Run the link validator and update any bad links, especially if you have copied a course from a previous semester.

Step 2: Update Syllabus  
Update the Syllabus.  Although copying and pasting your existing file seems easiest, make sure that students have a copy to download.  You can set auto-open for the inline preview so you only have to maintain one document.  Upload your file using the files tab in the rich content editor.

Step 3:  Create Assignments, Adjust Due Dates, and Review Gradebook
Add new assignments to your course or update imported assignments. Include due dates with existing assignments to help students maintain their calendar.  If you copy a previous course, you can remove the dates during course import to start fresh.  Assignments build your gradebook, so review your gradebook and check your grading scheme and weighting scale.  Configure a posting policy for assignments if you want more control over when grades are released to students.

Step 4:  Remove Old Announcements
Delete outdated announcements from a previous copy that you will not need.  If you re-use announcements, set delay posting options on these announcements to the dates when the announcements should appear to students. 

Step 5:  Choose the Home Page
The Modules tool is the default home page.  Your course home page can be your syllabus, modules, assignments list, activity stream, or a custom page.  A good recommendation is to use this space to display the tool your students will need to access the most or to to make it a welcoming place that provides them with important information and guidance about to find what they need.

Step 6: Customize Course Navigation
Canvas is very flexible, but giving students too many options may cause confusion.  Choose the tools you want the students to see on your course navigation menu and hide tools you will not use.  

Step 7: Verify Notification Settings
Check your notification settings to customize how Canvas updates you on course activity.  Consider which Canvas features you will use often and make your students aware so they can update their notification settings as well.

Step 8: Test Your Site
Use Student View to make sure your course is ready for student viewing.  Check that items are published and that tools are visible.

Step 9:  Publish!
By default, your Canvas course is “unpublished” and hidden from students.  When you are ready for students to access your course and its contents, publish your course to give your students access!

Step 10:  Make a Welcome Announcement
Send a welcome announcement to let your students know you course is ready. Consider adding an image or video to make the announcement more personal.  Notifications will not be sent from an unpublished course, so make sure to publish the course before you start interacting with students.



Is there an end of term checklist?

Once the semester is complete, there is nothing you must do to complete your course.  By default, courses are defined by terms which end two weeks after the official end of the semester.  Once that time passes, your course is moved into a read-only state and moved off your students’ Dashboards.  Students will no longer be able to participate in activities in the course such as submitting assignments.  But you may like to perform some tasks for record-keeping and student access:

Review and Export Gradebook
It is important to verify grades if Canvas is the gradebook of record and then export your gradebook for your records:

  • Verify that the Canvas Gradebook matches the grading policy set up in your syllabus, especially if using weighted grading categories.
  • If using a grading scheme, make sure it matches the grading policy set up in your syllabus.
  • Check that all assignments are graded for all students.  Missing grade entries should be recorded as zero, otherwise they will not be counted in final grades.
  • Export the gradebook from Grades using the Export button to download a CSV file of your final grades. Please refer to the University’s security information for storing sensitive information.

Unpublish Course Content
If you are concerned about students viewing certain materials such as homework solutions or answer keys after the semester ends, you can unpublish items such as individual files or modules.  Also if you used Quizzes, you may wish to turn off all feedback so that students cannot see their submissions if you re-use material each semester.

Adjust Course Settings
Adjust your course Settings if you need to change the visibility of your course after the semester ends.

  • If you wish to hide content from students that cannot be unpublished, your best option is to remove the tool from the course navigation to discourage direct access.  
  • If you need to extend participation in your course (for both students and teachers) beyond the two weeks after the end of the semester, change the Ends date to a new date and check the “Students can only participate in the course between these dates” option.  For example, a Spring 2019 course term ended on June 17.  If you need to allow students with incomplete work to submit assignments or you need to grade assignments beyond that date, you will need to set the date to when the work will be complete.  

End date extended to Jul 1, 2019 highlighting option box to check

You can also change the date to earlier than the term end date if you wish student participation  to end before the semester is complete.  

  • To prevent your students from entering your course after the semester ends, check the “Restrict students from viewing this course after end date” option.   You can set this option with the standard term or a changed end date that is either earlier or later than the standard term.

Canvas course setting with term date extended to Jul 1, 2019 with option box set to restrict viewing access

If you do select this option, you may wish to inform your students.  The course is removed from both the Dashboard and the Courses list, so students have no access and may contact you about enrollment.

For more information about student course access, please refer to the blog post How to Manage Student Course Access.

How do I add students to my Canvas course?

You do not need to add students to your course.  If a student is enrolled in a course section, the student will be automatically enrolled in your Canvas course. Rosters synchronized nightly.  You can view your students in the People tool.  Remember your course must be published for students to access your course. 


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